I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

ACLU Requests Information From ECSD

Yesterday afternoon, I found a letter from the School district's general counsel in my mail box at the district office. The letter was attached to a request for information from the ACLU. I read the entire letter from the ACLU, and what they have requested is extremely wide reaching and broad. A scanned copy of the request can be found here:

My concerns are many---I understand what the ACLU is, and I understand that here in America they have the right to their views and ideologies. I understand this. I agree with the ACLU on some issues (freedom of individual speech and privacy rights within one's home) But I strongly disagree with their position on most issues, though. I believe they are damaging America with their strident and open disdain for religion. The ACLU is also wrong, in my opinion, on a host of other issues.

I think the ACLU is wrong when they resist the second amendment right for one to bear arms (Supreme court agrees with me, see D.C. vs. Heller )...

I think the ACLU is wrong when they press for non-American enemy combatants to receive legal protections equal to or surpassing those afforded to American citizens...

I think the ACLU is wrong when they fight municipalities and school districts around the country over petty separation of church and state issues...

I think the ACLU is wrong when they defend people like the rainbow family who break the law and assault law enforcement officers:

And I think the ACLU is dead wrong in their 19 year quest to remove the Mt. Soledad Cross. Thank God that's one fight they are losing.

So when I see a broad reaching request for information from the ACLU for Escambia County School District records and information, I get the distinct and unsettling feeling that we are going to be targets for some alleged wrong-doing. I'm told by some sources that know--that this request was spawned by a prayer at a district event. A Prayer. Wow, what is going on in our country when we have to endure a shakedown because someone may have said a prayer at what the ACLU feels was an "inappropriate" time. I personally hope that if a religious reference was made, it was made by a student--- that way the ACLU will have to give in and acquiesce to a student's right to free religious expression!

Stay Tuned.


Matthew said...

I met you on the train, hope you had a good trip. Anyway, as we discussed, I'm on the other side on a lot of these issues. I agree that issues of prayer in school may need to be revisited. My feeling is as long as students aren't being told what to believe, that the discussion of faith and even moments of silent prayer do not seem to infringe on individual rights. I do take issue with one of your examples of where the ACLU is off base. While I don't necessarily believe that our US court system must handle enemy combatant cases, I do think that some legitimate court should. My concern, as you know, is not for any terrorists being held captive, but for the innocent person scooped up in the net. As you know, our countries understanding of the Middle East is far from comprehensive. The idea that some innocent villager got picked up in the fog of war, does not seem far fetched. I personally think it is our responsibility as the standard bearers for a free and just society to make sure that justice is served. isn't that what we're really fighting for?
Matthew Garland

Jeff Bergosh said...


Thanks for the post. I enjoyed our chat on the train, and it goes to show that people on opposite ends of certain ideologies can have interesting, civil conversations. On the train ride from L.A. to San Diego, I sat next to an elderly woman who was fascinating--also very left leaning. What an interesting conversation we had. You never know who you'll run into on the train.

I am probably in the minority on the enemy combatant issue, as I don't believe foreign nationals deserve the protections afforded U.S. citizens when these foreigners are apprehended on battlefields outside our borders. Would these combatants receive the humane treatment they receive as U.S. held enemy prisoners--if they were apprehended by, say, an Egypt, Pakistan, or Jordan? I don't think so--they would not be given the Koran, and three meals per day. However, it seems as though most--including the supreme court, agree that these individuals deserve trials in U.S. courts.
The church and state issue is thorny, but I am able to see both sides. I just strongly believe that the majority in the U.S. should not always have to bend to the wishes of a small vocal minority of secular progressives on every single issue with respect to religious faith.
Anyhow, I wish you well in your year away from the classroom, and best of luck with the completion of your novel.

Jeff Bergosh

Colleen said...

Maybe the world would be a better place if annual cross-country train rides were required of all citizens. I enjoyed our talk and wish you a productive year back in Pensacola.

Jeff Bergosh said...

Yes, perhaps a mandatory trainride across America would do people good. I would not suggest a greyhound bus ride through Northern Canada, though, based upon that recent incicent in Northern Manitoba!

Anyhow, I wish you a very fruitful year as well!